By Bob Haynes
You Have A Choice –Better Or Bitter


A wonderful musician came into my life some 15 years ago. His name was Dennis Jernigan. I went to a number of his concerts in Edmond, Oklahoma and I also purchased his songbooks. Thru them, Dennis spoke to my soul. That’s why, at this time in my struggle against cancer, I turned once again to Dennis and to his music. I hope you will agree, even without hearing the melody, the strength and message of truth in his music.

One of my favorites and one we sing a lot on Emmaus Walks is “You Are My All in All.” The words leaped out to me today as I write this column. “You are my strength when I am weak, You are the treasure that I seek; You are my all in all. Seeking you as a precious jewel, Lord to give up, I’d be a fool; You are my all in all. When I fall down You pick me up, when I am dry you fill my cup; You are my All in All.”

That has been my prayer each day as I look toward Him for strength. Even in the days when my cup is dry, I know it will be filled. As some of you have experienced and others watched the process, chemo and radiation not only strive to destroy the cancer cells; they also destroy some of the good cells along the way. I now have experienced the first segment of a roller coaster ride that is designed to bring me to my knees and back again.

I’m reminded of a book written by James W. Moore, another great author favorite of mine. The book’s title is You can get better or bitter. Maybe you’ve read some of his works: I loved the book entitled “God Was Here and I Was Out To Lunch and another one of my favorites is Yes Lord I have Sinned, But I Have Several Excellent Excuses.

The message the author wanted to impart was this: “In the midst of loss – no matter what the loss is that has brought you to your knees, you do have a choice. Even when it seems like everything you had nailed down has come loose. Even in the midst of grief over the loss of a loved one. Even when family turns against family, even when economic losses have knocked our world upside down…we still have a choice.”

The book publisher wrote on the back cover these poignant words: “All of us, at one time or another, face sorrow, grief or loss – these challenges spare no one. The question is: How will we respond to these challenges.”

While I cannot say I’m doing “great,” I can tell you that you have lifted me up in your prayers and that I can feel each one and thank God for you and for your families. I also want you to know that I have met some of the most wonderful people – those who care for cancer patients – their dedication and their strength of character would make anyone stand and shout “God is Good, All the Time.”


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